Kefauver Committee

Machine Politics, Organized Crime, and Reform

Title Description Year
"Appointment in Kansas City"

Political cartoon by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick depicting what appear to be dead bodies outside a door labeled "Senate Crime Committee," referring to the Kefauver Committee's investigation into organized crime.

January 1, 1950
Draft of Binaggio Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article discussing Estes Kefauver's Senate committee devoted to investigating interstate organized crime activity, including Kansas City's Charles Binaggio. Kefauver is reported to be interested in the immigration and citizenship records of "criminals and big-time gamblers in the search for links with the Mafia." Binaggio is reported as having being interested in the deportation of Frank Coppola, who was one of numerous organized crime figures operating out of Mexico, several of whom are suspected as being involved in his April, 1950 murder, and who were also wanted by Internal Revenue Service for income tax evasion.

January 1, 1950
From S. H. Toucey to Estes Kefauver

Letter labeled "PERSONAL" from S. H. Toucey to Senator Estes Kefauver, regarding his Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce. Toucey writes that he doesn't "like CRIME anymore than the United States Senate do," and goes on to summarize his view of election fraud andand insurance scandals in Kansas City and Jackson County. Toucey appears to have been involved in a legal petition alleging fraud against New York Life Insurance Company in 1935, among other cases, and was snubbed by the Kansas City Star in his attempt at receiving greater publicity for his case. He further alleges corruption from the presidency and United States Senate down to local Jackson County judges and newspapers.

January 1, 1950
From Unknown to Mr. Halley

Letter, labeled "confidential," from an unknown correspondent to Mr. Halley, regarding information received from Kansas City crime boss Charles Binaggio's brother, Dominick. Tim Moran, a "big time gambler here under ... both Prendergasts [sic]," is reported to have instructed Charles Binaggio to support a Pendergast candidate in exchange for sparing numerous men in Binaggio's inner circle from income tax fraud indictments. The letter discusses animosity between the Italian and Jewish organized crime factions, the latter of which Dominck Binaggio blamed for his brother's death. He also accuses U.S. Attorney Sam Wear as being "Prendergast's [sic] boy" and claims his brother's murder was planned by Tony Gizzo, who later gained power. The letter writer acknowledges that most of the mafia men who appeared before the Kefauver Committee committed perjury, and suggested "it would have a most wholesome effect if we could take the time to cite them for perjury."

January 1, 1950
Kefauver Committee Exhibit #2

Diagram presented as an exhibit before the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. The diagram maps the movement of opium from "legitimate" producers Turkey, Persia, and India, and traces the drugs through refinment into heroin, to French and Italian ports where the drugs are distributed to New York and Cuba, then on to Mafia organizations in Tampa and New Orleans before coming to Kansas City and being distributed to consumers.

January 1, 1950
Kefauver Committee Exhibit No. 10

Diagram from the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, illustrating the Kansas City Mafia's engagement in narcotics, murder, gambling games and bookmaking, and liquor distribution. Names of alleged members are listed, as are victims of unsolved murders. The diagram also depicts the involvement of the Kansas City Mafia with organized crime in cities such as Chicago, New York, and Tampa.

January 1, 1950
Kefauver Committee Exhibit No. 9

Diagram from the Kansas City Hearings of the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, illustrating the Kansas City Mafia's involvement in night clubs, liquor businesses, bookmaking and other gambling, voter fraud, narcotics, and murder, among other areas. Charles Binaggio is depicted as the leader of the organization, with Charles Gargotta, "Eddy Spitz" Ochadsey, Morris Klein, and Tano Lococo among his close associates. Numerous businesses and gambling operations are listed, including outposts in Denver, Colorado, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

January 1, 1950
Objectives of the Kansas City Kefauver Hearing

Document stating the objectives of the Kansas City hearings of the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. The document says the committee intends to establish that a group of criminals, who operated gambling and illegal liquor establishments centered around Charles Binaggio, attempted to dominate Kansas City law enforcement. It is stated that the group failed in this effort to obtain control of the police board, but continued with other illegal efforts in Kansas City and surrounding states until Binaggio was killed in 1940.

Organized Crime Profiles

Profiles of Kansas City organized crime figures Joe "Scarface" DiGiovanni, his brother Peter "Sugarhouse Pete" DiGiovanni, James Balestrere, Nicolo Impostato, Vincent Chiapetta, Thomas Lococo, Tony Gizzo, and Joseph DeLuca, including biographical information, discussions of criminal involvement and known associates, and records with the Kansas City Police Department. Charges including kidnapping, murder, Prohibition violations, selling narcotics, and other crimes. The document also notes whether these mens had been interviewed by the Kefauver Committee.

Tony Gizzo Testimony for the Kefauver Committee

Photographs and quotes from Tony Gizzo, Kansas City mafia figure, during his testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. Gizzo is quoted as saying "Senator, I wish to hell you would tell me what the Mafia is. I never even heard of it."

January 1, 1950